"So Early in the Spring" (Portrait of Mary Frances Vogler)  I've been working, cautiously & slowly, on this for three days. Windows, flowers, glints on jewelry, windowpanes, and fabrics are, quite frankly, easy to do once you've got a few technical-tricks under your belt (sorry, John Singer Sargent...but it's true). Tinting a lovely woman's face, is, however, d-f-f-i-c-u-l-t....at least for monochromatic me.
 
I got home from the Walmart this afternoon and was sufficiently emboldened by the experience to simply say "Oh, just sit down and DO it...if you screw up, it won't matter....she doesn't even know you're painting her...".  I hope this has turned out okay (trust me...several folks who come to this site know Mary Frances quite well, and they'll let me know if I've done an unworthy job).
 
Mississippi-born&bred Mary Frances is a retired French professor.  Amusingly enough, she's also a former gradskool classmate of James Villas (the longtime food editor for "Town & Country") and the former French professor of Vogue's editor-at-large (to say the least), Andre Leon Talley (google him if you don't know who he is; he's really something, as we say back home).  As far as I'm concerned, that is an overwhelming amount of sheer, irrepressible, famously temperamental FABULOUSNESS(!!!!!!!) to have dealt with during one lifetime. Predictably enough, Mary Frances seems to have gracefully negotiated both relationships and remains fond of both men....as she seems to be of everyone.
 
I threw a surprise birthday party, this past Sunday and here at the house, for Mary Frances. Normally, I wouldn't even consider doing this to a grown-up, but she's famously gracious & forgiving....so, I took the risk. Mary Frances was successfully snookered by my leading her to believe that she was picking up 92 year old Elizabeth Spencer (who's also a Mississippi girl) so that we could celebrate Elizabeth's having recently published "Starting Over".  Elizabeth has, of course, had more than enough of being feted since her latest book came out a couple of months ago.
 
Well.....As Stevie Wonder sang....."Isn't she lovely?"